NEWPORT NEWS -- Federal prosecutors say they won't pursue the death penalty for three men accused in the murder of Hardee's employee Diane Green.
Unless there is more to it than the story indicates, there is no reason for this to be a federal case. The locally elected DA, answerable to the people of this community, should be the one deciding whether to seek the death penalty, not Eric Holder.
Anthony Lee Wainwright, Jr., Henry Lee Thadeus Stapleton and Michael Johnson Jr. were in U.S. District Court in Newport News Monday afternoon.
Trial for the three was set for January 10, 2011 in Newport News, said U.S. Attorney spokeswoman Margaret Jahn.Green, 47, was shot to death in September 2007 during a robbery of the fast-food restaurant.
The three were indicted in January on federal charges of conspiracy to commit robbery, weapons violations, and murder with a firearm in reference to a crime of violence.
According to that indictment, Wainwright and Stapleton went into Hardee's restaurant with firearms intending to commit a robbery. After getting money from the register, Wainwright's do-rag slipped down and, worried he could be identified, he shot Green in the back of the head, killing her instantly, according to documents. Wainwright also wounded another employee who fled from the restaurant.Wainwright and Stapleton ran off and were later picked up by Johnson near the Hardee's restaurant. The three returned to a hotel room, where they divided up the money.